Teddy Edwards

Sunset Eyes

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Teddy Edwards, who took part in classic tenor battles with Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray in Los Angeles during the mid- to late '40s, remained a major tenorman for more than half a century. However, his decision to live in L.A. resulted in him being greatly underrated through the years. Fortunately, the superior hard bop tenor (who showed that there was more than just cool jazz being played on the West Coast in the 1950s) recorded on a fairly frequent basis throughout his career. This set features music from 1959-1960 with Edwards joined by either Amos Trice, Joe Castro or Ronnie Ball on piano, Leroy Vinnegar or Ben Tucker on bass, and Billy Higgins or Al Levitt on drums. Edwards, an underrated composer, performs six of his originals (including his most famous composition, "Sunset Eyes," and two versions of "Takin' Off"), Vinnegar's "Vintage '57," and a pair of standards. Although there are short solos for Castro and Vinnegar, the focus throughout is on the leader's distinctive and likable tenor. Since the great Teddy Edwards never recorded an uninspiring record, this date is easily recommended to fans of straight-ahead jazz.

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